Communal Clash

Police are deployed after two groups clashed on Republic Day in Uttar Pradesh's Kasganj district Jan. 26. (IANS photo)

LUCKNOW — One person was killed and another critically injured as two communities clashed on Republic Day in the Kasganj district of Uttar Pradesh Jan. 26, police said.

The incident took place when a "Tiranga Yatra" bike rally was organized by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and other Hindu groups. As they were passing through the Hulka locality – a Muslim majority area – some youths pelted the bikers with stones.

After that, it was a free for all and the bikers retaliated with stones. Gunshots were soon fired, wounding two people, one of whom later died in the hospital.

An irate mob attacked vehicles along the highway, targeted public property and torched some vehicles. Over half-a-dozen people, including police, were injured in the clashes.

The Rapid Action Force was deployed to the violence-hit areas and police patrolling was increased. 

Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said that the situation was under control but tense. The district authorities were keeping a close watch on the situation, he added.

Some reports suggest that the situation took a turn for the worse when in response to the crowds singing "Vande Mataram" and "Bharat Mata ki Jai," someone shouted "Pakistan Zindabad." This apparently incensed the ABVP workers and they attacked the community youth.

The injured person who later succumbed to bullet wounds has been identified as Sushil Gupta, a resident of Shivalaya, Railway Road.

Two others who sustained serious injuries – Naushad and Prince – have been referred to Aligarh where the condition of the latter is stated to be very critical.

Although no curfew has been declared, Home Department officials said prohibitory orders were in force, and keeping in view the "fluid and tense situation," people have been advised to stay indoors.

Local Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, including MP Rajveer Singh and other politicians advised residents to maintain calm and were working to normalize the situation, an official said.

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